From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs subscription list
Sent: Thu 30/06/2011 9:13 AM

BONUS SCHEME OFFERS FURTHER INCENTIVES FOR WORKING VETERANS

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, said from 1 July 2011 additional incentives will apply for veterans, war widows and widowers over the relevant pension age to remain in the work force.

“The Work Bonus Scheme will be enhanced and will continue to support eligible income support pensioners to undertake some paid work by reducing or removing any adverse effect to their pension,” Mr Snowdon said.

From 1 July 2011, changes to the Work Bonus Scheme will mean that the first $250 per fortnight of income earned by eligible service pensioners, income support supplement recipients and age pensioners paid by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, will be excluded from the income test.

Any unused amounts of the $250 exemption will accrue in a Work Bonus Bank, up to a maximum of $6,500, which can then be used to offset future employment income.

“This Scheme is about supporting members of the veteran community to take-up some paid work or return to the work force, if they choose to, and alleviating concerns about how the extra income will affect their pension,” Mr Snowdon said.

To be eligible, an income support pensioner must be of relevant pension age or over and be receiving employment income. Work can be casual or permanent, part time or full-time or any variation.

Mr Snowdon said the Australian Government is committed to supporting initiatives that improve the financial welfare of Australia’s veteran community.

“The Work Bonus Scheme was one of the improvements the Government made as part of its Secure and Sustainable Pension Reform package introduced in 2009,” he said.

“Paid work is a great way to supplement the pension and also has knock-on social benefits – helping veterans to get out and about and meet new people. I encourage veterans thinking of taking up some paid work, to learn more about how this Scheme can benefit them.”

For more information on the Work Bonus Scheme or the Work Bonus Bank visit the factsheets page on the DVA website www.dva.gov.au or call 133 254 (metro areas) or 1800 026 185 for regional callers.

Media inquiries:
Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 02 6277 7820 or 0400 045 999
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203